“Every Love Story is a Ghost Story”: The Spectral Network of Laurie Anderson’s Heart of Dog (2015)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


While it has been described as “a paean to a canine friend”, “a meditation on love and loss” and a collection of “eccentric musings on the evasions of memory, the limitations of language and storytelling”, Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog (2016) can also be understood as a network of ghost stories. Drawing on Anderson’s idiosyncratic multi-media technique (foregrounding technology) and conceptualizing of the future, this chapter will explore the ways in which the figures of 9/11, Lou Reed, David Foster Wallace, Gordon Matta-Clark and the Bardo course through Heart of a Dog. Exploring the implications of the juxtaposition of these themes and Anderson’s oeuvre including her live performance work and the Downtown New York artistic milieu she emerged from, Williams positions the film in relation to a confluence of network theory and hauntology as a particular rendering of twenty-first century subjectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBeyond the Essay Film
Subtitle of host publicationSubjectivity, Textuality and Technology
EditorsJulia Vassilieva, Deane Williams
Place of PublicationAmsterdam The Netherlands
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9789048543922
ISBN (Print)9789463728706
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameFilm Culture in Transition
PublisherAmsterdam University Press


  • network
  • sashaying
  • subjectivity
  • ghosts
  • the Bardo

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